Devotion: JOY--Find it. Free e-book to commenter (one of mine since it's me:) WINNER: Deena Adams
Updated: Oct 31
Good afternoon! It's been awhile since I've personally posted, having been so blessed to have guest bloggers for three weeks and, to be honest, they couldn't have come at a better time. I have been so slammed at work.
Plus, update--my finger was healing and I was glad not to type! There was a thought at one point that I might need surgery, but I didn't and I'm so grateful.
I am also excited to share another devotion with you. A few months ago, I was asked to review a 10-week devotional and I have thoroughly enjoyed doing so. The series is part of the Wholly Loved team's work and you can learn more here... https://whollyloved.com/
The first week was titled, "Where Joy is Found," based on Isaiah 61:10 "I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of His righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels." (NIV)
I also just happened to finish the chapter on "Happiness" in my Positive Psychology class this week. I truly believe coincidences are God's way of underlining something important in our lives. Joy is one version of happiness--there is also life satisfaction, subjective well-being, and eudemonia (hedonic pleasure). All of these, by the way, except the last one, increase with religiosity--no matter how it is measured--church attendance, frequency of prayer, and belief in a higher power.
Joy is a fruit of the spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). God wants us to experience joy. He wants us to share our joy with others. The question then, is how? How can we experience joy when bad things happen every day, everywhere, in this very flawed world? The easy answer is stay close to God.
That's also the hard answer. This devotional had me looking up Bible verses all over the Bible. It challenged me to answer difficult questions and I took a bit more time than I do normally with my quiet time in the morning. It's hard to find time and spend it with the Lord, but it is so worth it.
I am firmly convinced that you can find the other types of happiness in success, other people, maybe even the beach. But Joy comes in the morning, a gift from God. We just need to talk to Him, and often.
At the same time, God gives us other gifts and I want us to share them with each other--how do you find a little bit of happiness? I'm going to start the list: spending time with God, attending church, spending time with my family and friends, reading on the screen porch, lap time with my demanding cat, going on walks in this beautiful weather, and dancing in my kitchen (ssh, don't tell anybody).
Now, it's your turn...please feel free to share a bible verse or a devotional book/series you've really enjoyed (I need a new one), and/or other ways you find a little joy. God bless you and keep you!!